The sooner that Russia’s expert community abandons their wishful thinking hopes for a rapprochement with Germany, the sooner that the Kremlin can promulgate the appropriate policies for containing this latent threat before it’s too late.
Top Russian experts Fyodor Lukyanov and Timofey Bordachev published back-to-back analyses at RT about their country’s relations with Germany, both of which suggested some wishful thinking. The first’s was constructively critiqued here with regards to him omitting any mention of Germany’s regional competition with Poland being a factor behind its new anti-Russian role. The second’s, meanwhile, will be responded to in the present piece that will also address Russia’s expert community in general.
President Putin warned his country’s analysts against indulging in wishful thinking last summer when speaking to current staff and veterans of the Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) on the centenary of their structure’s founding by the USSR. He advised that “analysis must be realistic, objective and based on verified information and a wide range of reliable sources. One should not indulge in wishful thinking”, which is precisely what must be kept in mind concerning Russia’s relations with Germany.
Taken together, Lukyanov and Bordachev’s pieces hint that ties might improve in the event that the Greens are removed from influencing the formulation of their country’s foreign policy. While it’s true that the German left and right have shared views about the need to improve ties with Russia so as to restore their country’s reliable access to cheap energy, which formed the basis of its hugely successful economic model for decades, it can’t be taken for granted that either will lead Germany anytime soon.
Instead of holding out hope for that scenario unfolding sometime in the coming future, Russia needs to once again brace itself for a prolonged rivalry with Germany. Unlike in the 1930s, this one isn’t predestined to end in another world war, but it does indeed evoke shades of the Nazi-Soviet proxy war in Spain when it comes to Berlin’s growing military role in NATO’s proxy war on Russia through Ukraine. Russian experts should consider this development a turning point in bilateral relations with Germany.
There’s no going back after what Berlin just did since its leadership clearly signaled to Russia that they consider themselves to truly be in a New Cold War with Moscow over the future of the emerging world order and are willing to indirectly kill Russians in Ukraine so as to advance their agenda. Chancellor Scholz is a “weak leader” exactly as Bordachev assessed in his analysis for RT, but the manifesto that he unveiled in the US in early December on behalf of his permanent bureaucracy should be taken seriously.
It was analyzed at length here but can be summarized as Germany finally declaring its hegemonic ambitions that were already discernable during Merkel’s era. About that time, Secretary of the Russian National Security Council Nikolai Patrushev said in mid-March that “For years, the White House controlled [former chancellor] Angela Merkel”, which prompted a reassessment of her legacy after many in the Alt-Media Community and the Russian expert one alike wrongly considered her to be friendly.
Her candid admission in early December that the Minsk Accords were just a ruse for rearming Kiev ahead of a final NATO-backed offensive against Donbass showed that Germany was always conspiring against Russia, but her close relationship with President Putin misled the Kremlin. It’s understandable in hindsight why Russia’s expert community fell for her high-level influence operation back then, but Lukyanov and Bordachev’s pieces suggest that it’s still clinging to hopes for a rapprochement.
With the deepest of respect for both of them, they’re rational experts who struggle to acknowledge that their German peers no longer view relations with Russia as mutually beneficial but as a liability for ideological and geopolitical reasons. The first refers to their liberal-globalist worldview that’s completely at odds with Russia’s conservative-sovereigntist one, the details of which can be read about in the preceding hyperlinks, while the second was covered in the earlier hyperlinked response to Lukyanov.
Germany’s polar opposite worldview and regional competition with Poland for influence over Central & Eastern Europe (CEE), particularly in Ukraine but also in Belarus too, combine to make its prolonged rivalry with Russia inevitable. Everything has already moved too far along that trajectory to be reversed, especially after Scholz unveiled his previously mentioned hegemonic manifesto in early December, which can be considered to have promulgated Germany’s prolonged rivalry with Russia into official policy.
There’s no going back after the proverbial Rubicon was just crossed, and clinging to hope that everything might soon change is just a coping mechanism for those who are still in shock after what just happened. Instead of remaining in denial or attributing it all to a single political party, Russian experts must urgently acknowledge this state of affairs, which is approved by Germany’s permanent bureaucracy. Since Germany is preparing for a prolonged rivalry with Russia, the latter has no choice but to do the same.
Accordingly, Russia should place Germany in the same category as the US and UK, perceiving it as an interminable rival instead of a possible partner. All three function as complementary parts of the liberal-globalist hegemon that’s vying for world domination in the New Cold War. Absent the black swan event of the AfD or Die Linke assuming the chancellorship, which Germany’s ruling elite will conspire with its Anglo-American allies to stop by hook or by crook, this is the “new normal”.
Any signals of internal dissent should be ignored by Russian experts since it’s very unlikely that they represent an emerging trend. Germany’s perception managers might even mischievously misportray them in order to mislead Moscow, especially if its intelligence agencies assess that policymakers remain under wishful thinking illusions about the possibility of a rapprochement like Lukyanov and Bordachev’s latest pieces suggest, which could further delay the Kremlin’s formulation of an appropriate response.
With a view to the future, the Russian-German rivalry is expected to define the European front of the New Cold War, especially its ideological dimension since both espouse completely different worldviews. At present, Germany’s continental ambitions are partially kept in check by Poland’s rise as a Great Power across the CEE space, but the ruling “Law & Justice” (PIS) party’s potential loss in this fall’s elections could turn that country into a client state if the Berlin-backed opposition comes to power.
Even if PIS retains its leading position, irrespective of whether it enters into a coalition with the anti-establishment Confederation party, Germany will remain Russia’s top Great Power rival in Europe for the geopolitical and ideological reasons that were explained in this analysis. The sooner that Russia’s expert community abandons their wishful thinking hopes for a rapprochement with Germany, the sooner that the Kremlin can promulgate the appropriate policies for containing this latent threat before it’s too late.
Germany is an occupied country in which the occupiers have succeeded in putting in power some of the most dilettante, plain stupid, vapid political elites I've seen in my short life. These puppet political leaders prioritize subservience to the hegemon over the interests of their own citizens and are thus committing treason. Unless the meek, obedient and heavily propagandized German citizenship rises against this state of affairs, the above article rings very true.
I disagree with the widely parrotted "Merkel betrayal" theme. Reality is a bit more complex than that. Merkel certainly turned out to be a disaster for the EU and Europe at large even though her strategic plunders were curiously masked by her refreshingly unassuming personality, paired with intelligence and what appeared to be an unideologic pragmatism. But she actually started out with a strong ideology of idolizing "The Golden West" which she herself admitted in a rare later interview. In the early 90ies, she was uncritically kissing up to the aging but raging chancellor Kohl while he devastated her native Eastern Germany with a relentless, completely unprecendented, shock therapy that was driven by Kohl's economic ignorance and cold-war anticommunism instincts. And while in 2003 then German chancellor Schroeder, French Chiraq and Putin met in Moscow (!) to jointly condemn the impending US invasion of Iraq, German opposition leader and quantum chemist Merkel travelled to Washington and swore unconditional fealty to the ex-alcoholic and barely literate George W. Bush. Anyone who wants to know what got us into the current mess we find ourselves in, needs to study this very moment. Russia, France and Germany were positioning themselves for integration and emanzipation from an increasingly out of control US. The US neocons woke up to the threat and quickly implemented a skillfull divide and conquer campaign pitching "Old" against "New" Europe. Many of the cold-warrior German and European elites (and for sure the newly westernized Eastern European ones) were radically opposed to any turning away from the US but the reality of that war, Guantanamo and the appalling carricature of the George W. administration gave the "EU emanzipation" camp a clear upper hand. The EU was at its peak attractiveness with its new reserve currency gaining traction and countries queing up to join from all corners, pushed on by the US in a drive to weaken the core EU but that little detail was easy to brush away. When Merkel came to power in 2005, she still found herself in this reality and refrained from radically changing German foreign policy. Once Obama replaced George W., her deep instincts of teaming up with the now again "reasonable" US became stronger. Merkel from the start had stopped actively pushing for the former Schroeder / Putin EU-Russia integration project. Instead she tried to position Germany as the mediator that was reaping benefits from having good or at least decent relationships with both sides. What she and the majority transatlanticist German establishment totally didn't understand was that the US establishment, Obama or not, had not forgotten this embarassing moment in 2003 and was extremely determined to destroy the German-Russian axis at all cost. Instead of having it both ways Merkel-style, a strong push back would have been required from the German leadership. I had already left Germany at that point but I remember my frustration (and many fierce discussions) watching the relations with Russia slowly unravel. Some older SPD and even Green politicians and more independent-minded journalists were sounding alarm bells over the years but, unlike Schroeder before her, Merkel's conservative / liberal team would never ever risk facing off with the US. However, this does not mean that she was in the blind anti-Russian camp. Along with France, she was violently opposed to the 2008 NATO declaration about Ukraine and Georgia (but, as perhaps typical, caved in to pressure). She complained bitterly that this NATO declaration had to be perceived by Russia "as a declaration of war" -- her words. Merkel's Germany did nevertheless support the disastrous EU - Ukraine association treaty which was pretty much demanding decoupling from the Russian economy. Ignorance or malice? I don't know how much she was just moving along or actively pushing for it. Germany and the EU very much tried to defuse the Maidan bomb with the agreement they brokered and, I am sure, were royally ... let's say upset when the Nuland phone call surfaced showing how the US got their way with Yatsenuk and his Right Sector pals. But Putin's clever dash for Crimea terminally destroyed her relation with Putin: it was a clear violation of international borders and made all the cringeworthy US neocon or Eastern European anti-Russia zealots suddenly shouting "I told you so!" right into her face. So we have to imagine Merkel & Steinmeyer going into dammage control mode while being, fundamentally, let's spell it out, very much pissed off at all sides for needlessly wrecking their nice German have-it-all US foreign policy + profitable Eastern economic integration model. I absolutely believe Merkel, and even more Steinmeyer, were absolutely sincere in trying to establish some sort of peace with Minsk 1 and 2 if only to get on with business as usual. But she again failed to mount the necessary independent and emanzipated foreign policy vis-a-vis an escalatory US and was ideologically unable to see or believe the bigger US game plan. So what about this famous interview? I have read it carefully. MoonOfAlabama gave a good analysis with which I totally agree -- she did not actually say she brokered Minsk in order to give Ukraine time to rearm for conflict with Russia. In the interview she first states that they wanted Minsk to work out and achieve peace. She then goes on to say, apologetically, that even as that failed, at least it gave Ukraine time to now better stand up to the new attack. This really is an uneccary and dammaging attempt by Merkel to save her image or legacy in the face of relentless attacks on anyone who was "soft on Russia" in the past. I am only observing from the distance, but the hysteric pro-war media barrage is truly incredible. Having done enough dammage as she did, she now missed a great opportunity to just keep her mouth shut about the topic but I guess it must have been difficult.